Effective learning is one of the most useful skills we can develop.
Unfortunately, most of the ways we use to absorb new information are completely ineffective and irrational. Not only does this approach impede our personal growth, but it also leads to inevitable burnout. Unless, of course, we abandon all endeavors before that moment arrives.
Whether you are reading a book on self-development or business to find new opportunities, preparing for exams, or taking an online course to learn something new and interesting, learning is important and useful for all of us. That’s why we need to know how to make the most of our study time, and developing our ability to learn in general.
Here are six ways to improve your learning abilities and learn how to get the most out of the learning process:
1. Set a clear Goal Up
Before you embark on a journey of new knowledge, you should have a clear idea of why you are doing it. Why do you want to learn it? Why are you reading this book, studying a course, or studying for an exam? What is your long-term goal?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you focus on a clear goal to handle all this new information. Subconsciously, you know exactly what you’re looking for: the knowledge that will help you realize your intentions. A goal is necessary so you can filter information based on it, use useful material, and weed out unnecessary material.
2. Take notes
You need to take study notes. This is a fairly simple task. However, you should get a place to store and organize these notes.
Even if you only take notes on the most important key points, being able to go back to these notes later ensures that you will remember and assimilate most of the information from the book you read or lecture you listened to. And both physical and electronic media can serve as storage locations for notes.
3. Find a format that is perfect for you
Some of us digest visual data more effectively, others prefer audio format. Some people read texts of any complexity quickly and confidently, understanding the meaning of what is written instantly, while others require much more time to do so.
One particular format of reading new information is likely more effective for you than others. If reading books is an excruciating process for you, requiring enormous effort, then try listening to audiobooks. Find a way that is comfortable for you.
4. Take care of yourself
This is a point that many people often neglect. They do not realize that health has a significant impact on our ability to learn. Therefore, we should not forget about good sleep, a balanced diet, and physical activity. The most important factor in this is the quality of sleep, which affects our productivity.
If you think that by reducing the amount of sleep you gain more time for development and work, you are mistaken. In fact, you are losing it, as poor sleep makes you less effective at completing important tasks.
5. Take regular breaks
Many people are accustomed to the idea that being productive at work or studying is to do something for long hours without allowing yourself even a short break. However, this is a highly inefficient approach that leads to burnout and loss of motivation.
Your brain needs short and frequent breaks to “reset” and get back to work with renewed energy. How often should you pause? If you’re reading a textbook or learning new material for you, even five minutes an hour will be enough to increase your productivity. Or you can take a short break from your work every half hour. Experiment and find the model that works best for you.
6. Apply new knowledge right away
One of the best ways to absorb new information is to put it into practice. It doesn’t have to be anything significant, even the simplest activities using recently learned material will help you remember and absorb it faster. For example, if you read self-development books, they usually contain specific steps you should take.
Effective learning is a valuable tool that you can use throughout your life. It is a trait that most successful women and men have. Also, the ability to learn is something that everyone can develop and improve, and use for their own development and achieve their most ambitious goals.